Thursday, May 1, 2014
I've been sick for most of the past three months.
First, I had a little cough, so I went to my doctor to take care of that. But the cough continued. In order not to keep waking Richard, I slept in my easy chair for a couple of nights.
This was not a good idea.
I wound up with a severe pain in my spine, just below my neck. None of the OTC things I had on hand would touch it, and I was beginning to be concerned. Finally, I asked Richard to take me to the emergency room.
This also was not a good idea.
I was admitted to the hospital, but before that happened they determined that I had a slight case of pneumonia, plus a dangerously low blood sodium level. They hooked me up to an antibiotic IV drip...
....which turned out to be yet another bad idea.
The antibiotic wiped out pretty much most of my natural bacterial flora and I wound up with colitis. This progressed into a Clostridium difficil infection of my colon. C. diff. is an especially nasty bacterium which killed off even more of my intestinal flora. To make a long story short, I had diarrhea for over a month. The prescribed antibiotic I had did not kill the C. diff. completely. My doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist in the middle of my first relapse, when I was still on the same antibiotic, and he said to give him a call if it came back.
Which it did....
.....while Richard and I were visiting his sister and brother-in-law. We arrived at their house on Friday evening, got up and had a fun and fabulous morning on Saturday, but then Saturday afternoon, I knew it was coming back. We had to leave late Saturday to come home, even though we had planned to stay until after lunch on Sunday.
I called the gastroenterologist, who prescribed an antibiotic that does nothing but kill C. diff. It was expensive, but at that point I was glad to pay it. It turned out that the price the pharmacist quoted to me was the without-insurance price ($2,400.00). It was for a 14-day supply. Fortunately my insurance covered most of the cost. Also, my scientist husband did some research and found a pro-biotic that restores the vital flora that C. diff. kills.
I've been taking these medications religiously, even getting up every morning at 4:00 am to take the first antibiotic of the day (4 per day). I'm feeling pretty darn good now. I think maybe the gastroenterologist nailed it. Of course, if he hasn't, there's another, yet-more-outrageously-expensive antibiotic to try. Oh, joy.
I'm looking forward to NO MORE RELAPSES!! Dammit.
Well, I apologize for this bummer of a post, so here's another spring-celebration photo to cheer you up:
Y'all take care, and avoid hospitals!